12 Tips to Look Your Best for Wedding Portraits and Engagement Photos

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So you’re probably wondering, how do I pose in my wedding portraits. Well I’m going to tell you. Here are my 12 tips and tricks on the way to stand in your photos so that you don’t look awkward or feel out of place!

1. Find Your Best Side

No one's face is perfectly symmetrical and while I'm sure both sides of your face are gorgeous, you probably have one you like a bit better (even if you don't yet know it!). Practice posing with your face tilted in each direction by taking selfies of yourself or asking your best friend to take some photos of you. Once you know your 'best side,' always pose with your best face forward. This won’t make you feel awkward or make you dislike your photos

2. Smile Naturally

The key is to smile like you do in real life—and not as big as possible. When you smile largely, your cheeks puff out and your eyes squint, which isn't the most flattering of poses. Instead, practice relaxing your face, opening your mouth ever so slightly, and thinking of something that makes you happy—like spending the rest of your life with your significant other.

3. Use Your Tongue

Try pushing your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This somewhat awkward feeling pose will help to elongate your neck and reduce the appearance of any double chin. Just practice ahead of time to make sure you don't look uncomfortable doing it.

4. Smize or Smolder

Smile with your eyes! The Smize is when you kind of smile, but mainly using your eyes! You know when you smile how your eyes squint, the corners turn up, and you look slightly up? Do the same thing but don’t ACTUALLY smile! The result will be a more approachable, happy look, even when you're not actually smiling.

Have you ever watch Disney’s Tangled? Flynn Ryder, the lead male character, developed the Smolder. It’s when you kinda move your lips to one side and lift one eyebrow. It isn’t as drastic as it may seem! Google Flynn Ryder smolder and you will see what I mean!

5. Accentuate Your Arms

The key to posing your arms is to keep them away from your body so they're not smushed against your torso. This will cause them to photograph wider than they actually are. One of the most flattering poses is to put the arm closest to the camera on your hip to accentuate your waist and slim your arm. This way there is definition between your body and your arms. Just be sure to tuck your elbow so it's pointing behind you and not out to the side. This may seem too posed, but I promise that you will like the way you look in the photos way better.

6. Don’t Forget Your Legs

Don't forget to pay attention your legs. Even if you're wearing a gown that completely conceals your legs, make sure you know that they are there. Either bend one knee so you don't look stiff or if you are sitting cross your ankles at your calves to elongate your legs and make your hips appear narrower. This will make you look less awkward and not too posed in front of the camera.

7. Angle Your Body

Never stand completely facing the camera! That is a big posing NO NO. Turn your body so that it’s at a 45-degree angle usually to your “good side.” It is always good to turn in towards the person you are taking the photo with!

8. Placing Your Hands

The hands are always an awkward part of your body when it comes to taking photos. I always get “What do I do with my hands?” from couples all the time! So I’m here to help! If you are turned on an angle, your back hand should be at your side and your front hand should be on your hip or, for the gentlemen, in your pocket! Ladies always like to extenuate their hips. So when you face forward, place your hands on your hips. This allows for your hands to have a place to sit and you don’t feel awkward. For the guys, crossing your hands in front of your waist, by your side, or slighting in your pants pocket is always the best go to when placing your hands for photos.

9. Stand Up Straight

Great posture goes a long way in making you look happier, healthier, more fit and more confident. It also affects how you feel, giving you more energy, which you'll need! You don’t want to look hunched over or off balance. Keep your back straight, chin up and feet balanced!

10. Look Over Your Shoulder

Sometimes your best poses are the ones you would never think of doing. Looking over your shoulder is one of them. If your photographer says to you, turn around and look over your shoulder? Choose your “good side,” look over that shoulder, give a natural smile and hold it! Trust me when I say it works, it truly does.

11. Leaning

Gentlemen, the lean is a thing. So do it! Some of the best groom portraits are when you are leaning up against a wall. (Make sure it isn’t dirty of course) Cross your arms and lean your shoulder on the wall or place your back to the wall, put your back leg up, put your hand in your pocket and look out into the distance. BOOM you have a really amazing portrait of yourself!

12. Relax

Have fun, laugh, be silly and most of all, be you. You want your pictures to capture the essence of the occasion, not to look posed. Feeling stuck, awkward, too posed and uptight with all eyes on you? Shake it out, do a dance, look away, have a moment with your love, and then come back to the camera. This will lighten up the mood and make your photos absolutely stellar!